3 Tight Ends To Watch For Los Angeles Chargers At NFL Scouting Combine

Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine kicks off on February 27th in Indianapolis. It will be one of the final chances for the Los Angeles Chargers to get up close to their potential future draft picks. With the coaching staff and front office intact behind the new head honchos, Jim Harbaugh and Joe Hortiz, this year’s combine is loaded with questions and potentialities.

We won’t learn the answer to those questions until this process plays out, but tight end is currently a glaring roster hole. The depth chart cupboards are bare and there are intriguing options to watch at the Scouting Combine that could wind up being Chargers draft picks.

3 Tight End Options For The Los Angeles Chargers

Syndication: Online Athens
Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prospect: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Joshua L. Jones / USA TODAY NETWORK

Brock Bowers, Georgia, 6’4″ 240 lbs

Is this beating a dead horse yet? Probably. So much so that we content jockeys have allowed our imaginations to wander if Brock Bowers is a ‘Harbaugh pick’ or a ‘Greg Roman guy.’ Sometimes in draft silly season you just have to keep it simple, stupid.

Bowers isn’t just a tight end. He is a turbo-boosted playmaker who runs the full route tree and is a threat at all three levels. Despite his lack of traditional tight end size, he is a more than willing blocker. He is a perfect complement to Justin Herbert and Keenan Allen.

Will Greg Roman see the value in adding him? Again that’s a good question, but one for another article. It doesn’t take away Bowers’ inherent value. If the Chargers want a tight end at 5, Bowers is the only option. There is a big drop-off between Bowers and the next best TE.

What to watch for from Bowers at the combine: Sit back and enjoy the show

NCAA Football: Senior Bowl
Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prospect: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Theo Johnson, Penn State, 6’6″ 257 lbs

A big drop-off? I wouldn’t suggest the Chargers take another tight end until the third round. And that is where Theo Johnson will likely get drafted.

Johnson is more the prototypical tight end, which will make him much more palatable for Harbaugh and Roman. He has proven to be a reliable pass catcher over the middle but has a limited route tree. He still has work to do as a blocker, but won’t be embarrassed.

He is 2024’s version of Michigan alum, Luke Schoonmaker. But he won’t get buried in a crowded room like Schoonmaker did with the Cowboys.

The drawback with Johnson is that the Chargers will want to get a veteran tight end to carry some of the burden while Johnson acclimates to the NFL.

What to watch for from Johnson at the combine: Vertical Jump- His explosiveness will reveal his upside as an inline blocker.

NCAA Football: Florida Atlantic at Illinois
Los Angeles Chargers Draft Prospect: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Tip Reiman, Illinois, 6’5″ 273 lbs

Want a Harbaugh guy? Tip Reiman is your man. He will upgrade the Chargers run and pass blocking. Period. Hands down.

He is also the polar opposite of Brock Bowers. He lacks dynamic athleticism, but ain’t no slouch as a pass catcher. A big body is harder than ever to defend in the middle of the field, his average depth of target was just six yards, and that size is hard to take down. He was able to pick up 12 first downs on 19 receptions and just over half of his yards came after the catch last season. He also caught three touchdowns

It’s a small sample size, but hopefully, the Los Angeles Chargers will find a way to figure out what he can do as a pass catcher, rather than dwell on what he can’t do.

Some draft-nicks don’t even have this guy in their sights. He is a day-three pick, and the Chargers may be the only team that needs his particular set of skills. He may fall so far that the Chargers can get him as an undrafted free agent.

What to watch for from Reiman at the combine: Agility Drills- Can he hold his own when changing direction? Also, watch the pass-catching drills. As long as he can hold his own, he is an interesting pick for the Chargers.